The Dance festival held for the second time at the King George V playing fields in Cosham, just North of Portsmouth City Centre was over 95 % sold out to full capacity. Held from midday until midnight both days they put a last entry regulation on at 8pm with no re-entry during both days. Once you're in you're in. It was a 16+ festival but 16 year olds were only allowed with an 18+ adult.
For those staying for both days a camping bolt-on was available for the first time at £35 per person and was situated at Farlington Playing fields with a complimentary shuttle bus running to and from the festival throughout the day and night.
Festival goers were advised to arrive early to avoid queues and that's exactly what there was. Two massive queues circling the field in both directions, one for the VIP and one for the usual tickets. VIP's were intended to be fast track but there wasn't much difference in the queue waiting times.
This was partly due to massive attendance and partly due to extensive bag searches and sniffer dogs after the bombing tragedy in Manchester where 22 people lost their lives on the 22nd May. Festival goers were advised that they could only bring in a small handbag, no glass bottles and the usual, no drugs or anything to be used as weapons. There was a much stronger Police presence compared to last year which was reassuring to all.
Other general facilities included cocktail bars, more food, drink stalls, general festival stalls than last year but less fairground rides. There was also the return of the very handy locker and phone charging facility which was bookable in advance, also quickly sold out in advance!
Stages included a large Main Stage where artists such as Majestic, Lethal Bizzle and 50 Cent & G-Unit headlined on the Saturday. On the Sunday, the Main Stage featured Chicane, Pendulum and Chase & Status among other great artists.
The 'Big Top' dance tent featured Roger Sanchez on Saturday who opened his set with hit Another Chance. Rhythm Masters, Soul Divide plus other popular dance sets had the tent packed. Jax Jones was on the set list to play but sent their apologies not being able to make it due to flight issues.
Sunday Big Top acts included Drum and Bass act Roni Size who pulled in a massive crowd right to the edges of the tent and Mollie Collins later on who was slightly out-done by Chase and Status on the Main stage.
There was also a 'Concrete' tent featuring acts such as Champion & MC Serious on the Saturday and Big Narstie, MJ Cole and Barely Legal on the Sunday.
One of the most popular acts throughout the weekend included Majestic - 30 year old, born in the 80's 'raised in the 90's' multi-skilled MC and producer. He played hits from his albums, An oath, I Love Boleros, Roop Rege, Break The Mould EP and PROMISE. This talented MC/producer, clearly a huge favourite in Portsmouth pulled in a huge crowd with great audience interaction and energy as usual. Through his set he shouted out the obligatory 'oggy oggy oggy oi oi oi' several times with the crowd joining in enthusiastically. He did a beautiful tribute to the Manchester victims near the end of his set.
Saturday's huge headline act was 50 Cent & G-Unit, 'Guerrila Unit'; the hip hop group formed of American East Coast rappers 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks, came on with a bang. The festival fans reaction reflected the popularity of these American rappers with a colourful past. During the set, the artist discovered by Eminem and supported by Dr Dre did a shout out to them both. They shouted 'when I say Slim, you say Shady, when I say Dr you say Dre' which the crowd eagerly joined in with. Fire blasts and streamers blew out throughout their performance. There was also a very moving tribute showing support to the Manchester victims where 50 cent said,
'Twenty-two people we lost in Manchester. We want to show our love to their families. Rest in peace. We want you all to know one thing G Unit loves you, Peace to all their families. They then dedicated their song 'Many Men' to them.
British Electronic duo Chase and Status on the Main Stage Sunday night was huge. Talking to other festival goers apart from 50 Cent this was one of the acts most were looking forward to and they didn't let us down! Throughout their set fireworks and streamers filled their air to hits such as Sweet Sensation and a roaring crowd.
Artist Rage did a really beautiful tribute to the Manchester victims near the end, asking everyone to light their lighters and turn their phone lights on saying, 'from the People of Portsmouth, from Mutiny Festival 2017 we send out our love to everyone in Manchester'. This was followed by their their UK top ten hit, 'Blind Faith' in dedication.
One of the most moving things about this festival was, despite the extensive bag searches, sniffer dogs and Police presence, the Worldwide support and solidarity that the artists and crowd showed to the people of Manchester.
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